DENVER (AP) — Members of a psychological well being response staff despatched to assist a person who was having a “psychotic breakdown” as an alternative killed him by tackling him and leaving him handcuffed, in response to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the person’s household.

The lawsuit over the 2022 demise of Kevin Dizmang in Colorado Springs was filed in opposition to the staff’s paramedic, Nick Fisher, and police officer Sean Reed. It identifies Fisher because the individual seen taking Dizmang, 63, to the bottom in body camera footage launched final yr by attorneys for Dizmang’s household after his demise was dominated a murder and raised questions on how police deal with encounters with people experiencing mental health crises.

Different physique digital camera footage taken on the hospital as employees tried to save lots of Dizmang’s life reveals Fisher joking about how he relied on his highschool soccer expertise to deliver Dizmang to the bottom, in response to the lawsuit. When somebody compliments him on his “good kind,” somebody responds “Effectively, not a lot” within the footage.

Fisher resigned from the division in June 2023. However hearth division spokesperson Ashley Franco mentioned she couldn’t present particulars about his departure as a result of it was a personnel matter.

Reed nonetheless works for the police division however is in a unique position due to his personal alternative, division spokesperson Ira Cronin mentioned.

Each the fireplace and police departments declined to touch upon the lawsuit, and neither Reed nor Fisher could possibly be positioned for remark. Somebody who answered the cellphone at a doable phone quantity for Reed hung up when contacted by The Related Press.

The district lawyer’s workplace discovered the actions of the officer and the paramedic had been justified, and no prison prices had been filed.

The staff responded after Dizmang’s household reported that he was experiencing extreme signs associated to his historical past of PTSD and schizophrenia, along with his ex-wife stating that she feared he was probably making an attempt to kill himself by strolling into site visitors on a busy road close to his home, in response to the lawsuit.

The physique digital camera footage reveals an officer, recognized by the lawsuit as Reed, telling Dizmang to place his palms behind his again whereas on the street, as others attempt to cease automobiles. The video reveals Dizmang resisting makes an attempt by the officer to place handcuffs on him earlier than he’s taken to the bottom by a person wearing crimson recognized within the lawsuit as Fisher.

It’s laborious to see what is going on, however Fisher is proven leaning on prime of Dizmang’s higher physique, obscuring his head, as Dizmang lies face down. The lawsuit alleges Fisher positioned him in a chokehold. Dizmang quickly stops transferring. After he’s turned face up, others round him name on Dizmang to speak to them, however there isn’t a response.

The lawsuit alleges Reed contributed to Dizmang’s demise by not telling Fisher to cease “choking” Dizmang and in addition preserving him in handcuffs lengthy after he turned unresponsive.

Based on the post-mortem report, Dizmang died as the results of cardiac arrest that occurred whereas he was being restrained and whereas he was acutely intoxicated by methamphetamine and affected by well being issues corresponding to weight problems and bronchial asthma. The Jan. 6, 2023, report signed by 5 docs concluded that the style of Dizmang’s demise was decided to be a murder due to “the contribution of bodily restraint to the reason for demise.”

“He didn’t die of pure causes. These individuals who got here to assist him, killed him,” mentioned Harry Daniels, one of many household’s attorneys.

Dizmang’s daughter, Kenda James, who’s a paramedic herself, mentioned she advised her mom to name 911 for assist for her father and suggested her to elucidate that he was in a psychological well being disaster.

“It’s actually unlucky that we requested assist and ended up in a murder scenario. It makes us actually, actually really feel like we must always have by no means made a name for help,” she mentioned at a information convention saying the lawsuit.

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